Highlight Match Turns Out To Be Uneventful
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, October 28, 1999 – AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, competed in the last day of Round Robin 1 races for the Louis Vuitton Cup taking their 8th win in the first match of the day. During the morning races, AmericaOne defeated Young Australia (AUS 29) by 1m 32s. In Race 11, the final match of the round, also anticipated as being one of the most exciting races of the series, AmericaOne struggled with mast and sail problems which resulted in an uneventful loss to Young America’s Pact 2000 (USA 53). AmericaOne’s final racing scores for the series were 10 races with 8 wins, placing the team in second place overall behind Prada (10 points) and tied with Pact 2000 (8 Points).
The weather conditions for the day were ideal for some potentially captivating racing as wind conditions ranged upwards of 15+ knots — white caps and swells prevailed. Although Young Australia won the pre-start of Race 10 by 1s, AmericaOne favored the left side of the course and rounded the top mark first with a 53s lead. At the second leeward mark, AmericaOne Bowman Curtis Blewett was sent up the mast to try to effect a repair to damage incurred moments prior to the start. Blewett worked quickly to make the necessary repairs above the jumper spreaders, limiting the damage.
For the last race of the series, AmericaOne raced Young America, both teams having suffered a loss to Prada earlier in the series. The damage from the first race proliferated and AmericaOne was forced to drop the mainsail. At the start of the race, under jib only, AmericaOne crossed the line 51s behind Young America with Bowman Curtis Blewett still clinging to the mast in strong weather conditions. AmericaOne fought a losing battle and retired after sailing past the leeward mark, unable to overcome their equipment failure. Despite having flown a protest flag for the duration of the race, AmericaOne did not seek redress.
“It was good to get back on the race course following the last few days of repairs made to the boat,” remarks AmericaOne Tactician John Kostecki. “Although we were unable to compete in the 2nd race against Young America due to a breakdown, we learned what our strengths and weaknesses are to further move our program forward.”
Both of the races AmericaOne sailed today were originally scheduled for last Sunday, but as a result of the collision with Stars & Stripes in race 9, AmericaOne was granted a delay to fix USA 49 and complete the final racing of Round Robin 1 today.
Race 10 & 11 Starting Line-Up: Curtis Blewett of Los Angeles, CA, bow; Ralf Steitz of Port Washington, NY, mid bow; Bill Bates of San Diego, CA, mast/sewer; Josh Belsky of Hood River, OR, pit; Phil Trinter of Lorain, OH, grinder; Mike Howard of Malibu, CA, grinder; Matt Welling of Bay Shore, NY, grinder; David McClintock of Portsmouth, RI, upwind trim; Morgan Trubovich of Newport, RI downwind trim; Gavin Brady of Annapolis, MD, runner; Paul Cayard of Kentfield, CA, helmsman; John Kostecki of Fairfax, CA, tactician; Bruce Nelson of San Diego, CA, traveler; Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, MD, mainsheet; Sean Clarkson of Middletown, RI, main assist, and Lexi Gahagan of Wilmington, DE, navigator. The 17th crew person for Race 10 was James Alison of Auckland, NZ.
Final Scores To Date:
Prada /10 points
AmericaOne /8 points
Young America /8 points
America True /6 points
Abracadabra 2000 /4 points
Nippon Challenge /5.5 points
Spanish Challenge /5 points
Stars & Stripes /4.5 points
Le Defi Francais /2 points
Young Australia /1 point
FAST2000 /0 points
Round Robin 2 This second round will commence on November 4, 1999. Round Robin 2 each of the 11 Challengers from seven nations will race each other one time – the winner receiving 4 points per race.